Prepping Your Vehicle for Long Term Storage

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Rows of car parts

So you’ve finally decided to take that life-long dream trip. Whether you’re going to be gone for a long summer or are looking at an even longer getaway, one of the major details that all too often isn’t given the attention it deserves is how you prepare your vehicle for storage. Believe it or not, the way you prepare to store your vehicle can go a long way towards determining if you’re happy when you come home or if you’re going to be sending your car to a place like the picture above.

When you’re looking at extremely long-term travel and you want to keep your current vehicle, it’s critical for you to take some steps to make sure that it’s still in the best condition once you get back. While this post is more of a brief checklist form, it’s important to look at all these steps to make sure you’re good to go!

#1: Wash your vehicle. This is a major step! While it sounds counter-intuitive, remember that untreated dust, oil, salt, sand, or even bird droppings left alone over months can damage the paint or even the vehicle’s body.

#2: Drain the oil and change the filter. You’ll need to add more when you come in, but you won’t want to deal with year old oil that just sat there. It’s just asking for trouble.

#3: Air up your tires. You don’t want to overfill them, but if you’re going to be gone a while you definitely want to make sure your tires are at least up to the proper pressure.

#4: Use a battery maintainer or remove battery completely. This can be a hassle, but there are options fr an automatic maintainer to pop on and give a charge every so often, or else you may simply need to remove it completely to avoid a dead battery and acid around the engine.

#5: Wrap or cover windshield wipers to keep them from sticking to the glass. You don’t want to come back to melting windshield wipers sticking onto the windshield. Not the way to start off after a long trip away.

#6: Cover the vehicle. Even indoors, having a plastic cover or tarp over the top is important and can make things a lot easier for when you return. It’s also an extra layer of protection from dust, weather, leaks, and whatever else might happen.

#7: Leave a note on the steering wheel. This is a great way to remind yourself of all the steps you’ve taken, and you want to make sure that you take care of what must be done before trying to drive off.

Follow these seven steps to help make sure that your car can quickly go back to running like new once you get back!

Shane

Shane

Shane knows a thing or ten about moving. Since taking off for college at 17 he has moved over 50 times to more than a dozen states, including the Last Frontier of Alaska. During that time he's figured out the ins and outs of quality inexpensive storage, the importance of careful planning, and how to carefully ship even the most delicate items. He also enjoyed helping with packing, moving, and shipping of antiques for his parents' antique store. When he isn't sharing storage and moving advice, he's working on his next novel and, perhaps not surprisingly, eyeing his next move.
Shane

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About Shane

Shane knows a thing or ten about moving. Since taking off for college at 17 he has moved over 50 times to more than a dozen states, including the Last Frontier of Alaska. During that time he's figured out the ins and outs of quality inexpensive storage, the importance of careful planning, and how to carefully ship even the most delicate items. He also enjoyed helping with packing, moving, and shipping of antiques for his parents' antique store. When he isn't sharing storage and moving advice, he's working on his next novel and, perhaps not surprisingly, eyeing his next move.